This is simply precious. In 2008, Barack Obama posed as a champion of good government, vowing to accept public financing for his general election campaign if his Republican opponent agreed to do the same. He was a great advocate of campaign finance reform, you see. But when his GOP rival signed on to the deal, Obama abruptly peaced out. Principles are nice and all, but there was an election to be won, dammit:
Obama went on to win big, decimating the Republican ticket in head-to-head spending. McCain was playing by the Obama- "supported" rules; Obama, alas, was not. A few years later, another of The One's campaign finance "principles" found itself on the chopping block. The president had repeatedly inveighed against SuperPACs, calling them a "threat to our democracy" -- but with an election on the horizon, he decided it was past time to set one up for himself. Blame the Republicans, he explained. Obama's SuperPAC went on to run the most vile and unfair ad of the entire election cycle, but who can be bothered with such picayune details, really? What mattered was another W for Team O. Safely re-elected, Obama has now discarded any pretense of the "keeping money out of politics" charade. His campaign -- Obama for America -- has risibly transformed itself into an allegedly "independent" and "non-partisan" organization that also happens to run Obama's Twitter feed. (Check out this "non-partisan" message from @BarackObama). This group is legally permitted to raise unlimited funds, and to that end, they're literally selling access to the White House. For $500,000 a pop, wealthy donors can buy themselves four annual meetings with the president at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sweet deal, if you've got the scratch. As I've pointed out before, back when he launched his superficially high-minded 2008 run, Obama said the following about fat-cat donors and special access:
The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we're here today to take it back. The time for that politics is over. It's time to turn the page.
"Just words." And now, we've officially come full circle. Obama's deep-pocketed, access-peddling former campaign has decided that it's once again time to support -- ta-da! -- public financing of elections. Now that their (former?) boss will no longer require hundreds of millions to grind his political opponents into the dirt, OFA staffers are free to dig their halos out of storage and launch an effort to require others to abide by the rules Obama strongly backed...until he shattered them into a thousand pieces for the cause, man. Behold -- pure, distilled shamelessness:
The reorganized Obama campaign, now called Organizing for Action, is jumping into the New York state legislative effort, pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), to pass campaign finance reform that would include public financing of candidates. As first reported by Politico, the nonprofit OFA will send an email to its 744,000 members in New York on Tuesday endorsing the call for public financing and will host a Wednesday tele-town-hall meeting with New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to rally those members.
You can only shake your head and start a slow clap for these guys. They have zero scruples, and they want you to know it. They're proud of it, in fact. I'll leave you with two parting quotations. The first, via MKH and Twitchy, is an absolute howler from Nancy Pelosi:
Pelosi just said of Obama: "I don't think he's ever done anything for political reasons."— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorpNBC) March 14, 2013
And finally, a flashback from the man himself. Take it away, Barack. Tell us about the importance of adhering to principles, especially when it's difficult. Tell us:
"You can't just talk the talk...you've gotta look at how do [politicians] act when it's not convenient?"
We're looking at it, Mr. President. Hey, look at what Obama's up to this week.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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